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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
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Publisher's Summary

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • Audie Award Finalist, Audiobook of the Year, 2007

"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5292 )
5 star
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4.2 (3566 )
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4.5 (3556 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Luis LA CRESCENTA, CA, United States 09-10-13
    Luis LA CRESCENTA, CA, United States 09-10-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too politicized"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book was more bout what governments did after the zombie invasion versus being a book about zombies. I was expecting something akin to the walking dead or just about any other zombie book. I think thats why Brad Pitt wanted to do the movie. He is very political and this book was just up his alley. As far as I can remember, the book only had roughly two sections dedicated to zombie attacks and the rest of the book seemed to be mostly a long diatribe of political rants; the evils of capitalism and the American war machine. The actors were horid. Im not sure why Max Brooks was cast to be the narrator for the book but his inability to make the conversations sound fluid and genuine were very disappointing. Also, although the interviews were done with people of different parts of the world, they all seemed to be well versed in American idioms. That took away a lot of the realism for me. Overall, a very disappointing book and audio.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    Nothing. He was horrible.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 01-01-13
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 01-01-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    81
    8
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    1
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    "Not Bad, Could Be Better"
    Would you try another book from Max Brooks and/or the narrators?

    Maybe, would listen to samples first.


    If you’ve listened to books by Max Brooks before, how does this one compare?

    No


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

    The narrator is good, there is multiple people doing it which makes that part really good.


    Did World War Z inspire you to do anything?

    No I was expecting a story of somebody living the event, not a bunch of reports of what happened in the past.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Jupiter, FL, United States 12-06-12
    Erik Jupiter, FL, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    22
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    FOLLOWING
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Meh, its different..."
    Any additional comments?

    I never understood the rave over this book. its ok and gives a post apocalypse view of what the zombie war was and how certain people around the world reacted. But it wasn't really exciting, wasn't funny, wasn’t intense, wasn't scary, wasn't witty...
    Basically if you were going to write a book report on what happened when the zombies started to destroy the world then this would be a good reference. So basically it’s just a fictional reference guide to something that never happened. Sound fun? Didn’t think so.
    But the production of the audio book was pretty cool. I mean they got Alan Alda to read a part...awesome!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 12-05-12
    Matthew Ottawa, ON, Canada 12-05-12 Member Since 2008

    Avid audiobook addict!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    249
    ratings
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    148
    109
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    7
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    "Written like a bunch of first-person news reports"

    Interesting stories, from the perspectives of many different characters. Not a tongue-in-cheek humorous zombie story at all. Has some memorable anecdotes that do a convincing job of portraying very realistically what the many worldwide reactions to a real mass infection outbreak would be.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Schieber McMinnville, OR United States 05-24-09
    S. Schieber McMinnville, OR United States 05-24-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    67
    8
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    "Zombie audiobook perfection"

    I've listened to 100's of audiobooks, this is my first "Zombie" genre, and I LOVED it. The story is set as various 1st hand accounts from around the world, and the myriad of actors in the audiobook lend a fantastic authenticity to the story as they speak English in their native accents.
    I tend to like unabridged versions, and would love one of this, but I'll take even 7 hours of this tale.
    Of all the audiobooks I've listened to, I would rank this in the top 10, probably the top 5. You won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    THOMAS GREY Lawrenceville, Ga USA 10-23-08
    THOMAS GREY Lawrenceville, Ga USA 10-23-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    164
    3
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    0
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    "Great zombie story!"

    This was a fun read! I really enjoyed the cast of speakers and the way the story was told was just fun! I hope that we never have World War Z, but I want to be interviewed like this when I survive!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Austin, TX, United States 09-06-08
    John Austin, TX, United States 09-06-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    "Excellent, exciting and compelling"

    Loved it, would have been 5 stars if unabridged, I left wanting more. Really enjoyed the listen, it takes you from the insanity of the dead rising to the day-to-day logistics and reality of what would happen if they did. Very realistic and believable, would make an excellent series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colts Fan Lizz 03-11-08 Listener Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "Great, could be better"

    I loved this book when I read it and loved the various actors who read the different chapters as they all were great. It was fascinating to listen to and was better than I expected. Except that it's abridged! After reading reviews I knew this but was amazed at some of the fantastic stories that were omitted. I can't recommend this more strongly but definitely read the book as well. You're missing great things if you only listen. I had to take a star off for the abridgment which is just never a good thing and with this book, is especially bad.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Voorhees, NJ, United States 01-12-08
    David Voorhees, NJ, United States 01-12-08 Member Since 2006
    ratings
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    67
    2
    Overall
    "Thought Provoking"

    Once you suspend your disbelief regarding zombies this book really makes you think about how global event could affect us in ways we never of thought of before. I found the book very entertaining and enjoyed the caste of character that brought the book to life. It is one of a very few books I would read or listen to a second time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather L. Koehler 01-10-08 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Zombie War"

    Totally enjoyable and believable. The idea of zombies and our inability to deal with their attack led to amusing situations. I enjoyed hearing Alan Alda, Henry Rollins, and John Tuturro (sp). I just wanted it to be longer.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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